Meet Our 2019 Summer Student Staff

Esther Yeung 

PennCORP CO-Director

Major: Political Science, minors in Asian American Studies and Law and Society

Fun Fact: I have a 1,321 day (and growing) snapstreak with a friend on Snapchat.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am a senior studying Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and minors in Asian American Studies and Law and Society. I'm deeply interested in foreign affairs, immigration policy, and racial justice. Outside of academics, I am involved in the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal, Academic Peer Advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, and work with HIAS PA in refugee/asylee resettlement as a Job Search Mentor. My personal interests include  photography, music, and exploring bubble tea shops around Philadelphia with friends.

At Civic House, I am a Student Director for the PennCorp Pre-orientation program that seeks to educate incoming first-year students and facilitate discussions around social justice, self-identity and lasting community partnerships with the local Philadelphia community. I'm very excited for the opportunity to plan and coordinate this program, and for a growing student community at Civic House! I can be reached at


Gabriella Finley

PennCORP Co-Director

Major: Criminology and Psychology

Fun Fact: I hate plantains/tostones/platanos, and I'm half Puerto Rican

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am a rising junior pursuing a double major in Criminology and Psychology in order to examine the intersection between unjust police practices, both in terms of disproportionate policing of communities of color and the criminalization of the mentally ill. I am passionate about criminal justice reform, racial justice, and the intersections of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status as they relate to educational disparities. To this end, I have enjoyed being a tutor and section direction with the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project. Outside of social justice work, I enjoy finding new music, and going to the concerts of incredibly talented, yet relatively undiscovered artists.

At Civic House this summer, I am a Student Director for PennCorp, a pre-orientation program that seeks to introduce incoming freshmen to social justice workshops and to Philadelphia through visits to our community partners. I am so excited to be a part of planning and executing this amazing program! I can be reached at


Tatiana Johnson

Program Assistant

Campus & Community Relations 

Northeast Bronx and lower Mount Vernon, NY

Major: History, Sociogy and Cinema Studies minors

Fun Fact: I went to the same high school as JLO. Go Panthers!

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hi! My name is Tatiana Johnson and I am Program Assistant at Civic House. I am a sophomore in the college, majoring in History and minoring in Sociology and Cinema Studies. My interests include photography, music and cinema. In my free time, I like to watch thriller films and documentaries, edit photos, browse Twitter, and sleep - in that order. I'm passionate about issues related to criminal justice and mass incarceration, womxn's rights, and racial equity.

At Civic House, I do work regarding Campus and Community relations. This means I coordinate information coming from Penn's campus and the surrounding Philadelphia community to the applicable people within Civic House. I also manage space reservations at Civic House and communicate relevant information or opportunities from organizations to our Multimedia Assistant.

You can reach me at


Macy Smith

Graduate Assistant

West Philadelphia Tutoring Project

Ephrata, PA

Major: Education

Fun fact: My mom and I share the same birthday.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

For the past two years, Macy worked in Philadelphia public schools through City Year, an Americorps program focused on educational equity and ensuring that students are prepared to graduate high school on time and on grade level. Prior to City Year, Macy attended Ursinus College, where she majored in English with minors in Psychology and Education, and was a Resident Advisor, advocate for sexual assault survivors on campus, and tutored through the Center for Writing and Speaking.  Through her classes, study abroad, and other experiences outside the classroom, she began to think critically about the inequities within education and the ways in which other injustices fuel educational inequality, cultivating a passion for learning about social justice issues both in and outside education. Outside of work, Macy enjoys trying new foods with friends, hiking, and reading.

The West Philadelphia Tutoring Project (WPTP) aims to promote mutually beneficial relationships between the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia students, primarily through weekly tutoring sessions. WPTP partners with Philadelphia public schools and provides on-campus tutoring to tutees in an effort to improve their performance in school and help them gain confidence in their academic potential. WPTP also provides tutors with opportunities to engage with the West Philadelphia community, gain a greater understanding of education issues, and develop a sense of civic responsibility. If you are interested in tutoring, learning more about the West Philadelphia community, and critically thinking about issues within education, you can learn more at or feel free to email me!

You can reach me at


Gerolly Lorenzo

Graduate Assistant
SP2  Intern

Assessment, Community Engagement Program, and Open Forum

Brooklyn, NY

Major: Macro Social Work

Fun Fact: I have a twin little sister. We were born on the same day and she is a mini version of me.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

My interests are in access to higher education, social justice and immigration. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Macro Social Work in the hopes to one day manage a program touching on some of these issues.

At the Civic House I'll be working on the assessment of programs, supporting the community engagement program and their Open Forum discussions. Get in contact with me if you have an interesting social justice related topic for Open Forum!

You can reach me at


Jennifer Selpa

Campus Compact of NY & PA AmeriCorps VISTA

Link between Civic House and HIAS PA 

Dumont, NJ

Fun Fact: I'm on level 1,933 (and counting) of Candy Crush

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I am a recent graduate of Villanova University where I majored in Political Science with a minor in Peace & Justice. When I'm not at Civic House or HIAS PA, you can find me working at Starbucks as a Barista, or in my living room working on a painting. 

My VISTA project includes working to help build the capacity of the employment program at HIAS PA through resource development and volunteer mobilization with students from the Civic House. HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. HIAS Pennsylvania advocates for just and inclusive public policies and practices. You should reach out to me if you have an interest in volunteering with HIAS PA in the Spring Semester or if you are fluent in a second language including, but not limited to, Dari, Urdu, Russian, French, Tigrinya, Pashtoo, French or Spanish and would be interested in being a volunteer interpreter. 

You can reach me at